September 1, 2021 – Indianapolis, IN – A state-of-the-art 25,000+ square-foot veterinary hospital designed by Indianapolis-based MD Architects was recently awarded the prestigious Grand Prize in the 2021 dvm360® Hospital Design Competition.
dvm360’s Hospital Design Competition honors the most attractive, efficient, and customer-friendly veterinary hospitals in the country. A panel of veterinary hospital design experts evaluated the strengths and standout features of each submission to ultimately crown a Hospital of the Year winner in two size categories, as well as several Merit Awards.
VCA West Coast Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital in Fountain Valley, CA, was named Hospital of the Year in the “Over 8,000 square feet” category for its thoughtful, well-organized floor plan, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design, dedicated spaces for high-tech equipment, and attention to both animal and human needs.
MD Architect’s team of architects and interior designers, led by Owner and Founder Rick Renschen, AIA, NCARB, were hired by VCA to design a larger space than the 13,000 square-foot, two-building facility they had outgrown. “Our design work began with an analysis of the existing hospital, which was spread between several buildings,” Renschen said. “All departments had to be relocated into a single building. We redesigned their workflows into clear circulation modes, creating a more consistent, effective model. Because veterinary hospitals tend to evolve into elongated networks of structures, folding circulation paths to fit into a big box store was a challenge.”
MD Architect’s winning design – housed in a former Staples store – transformed the physical space through innovative interior renovation and a new exterior addition, and enhanced the experience of the veterinarians and staff who work there, not to mention the pets who receive care. The hospital is now home to 16 exam rooms, air purifying systems that deliver 95-100% air purity in surgical suites, and a dedicated area for diagnostic imaging equipment, including X-ray, MRI, CT scan, and linear accelerator for radiation oncology treatment.
“Many pets are especially sensitive to the hospital surroundings, and few are comfortable outside their homes,” Renschen continued. “A growing base of research has been developed into ‘animal-friendly’ veterinary protocols, which we, as architects, have incorporated into workable environmental design elements in the hospital, without conflicting with human needs of the space. That includes incorporating calming décor, an abundance of natural light, and separate spaces for dogs and cats to reduce their stress during visits.”
Renschen knows a thing or two about the unique needs of veterinary facilities. He founded MD Architects in 2000, and the firm has since designed more than 180 animal care projects across the country, as well as human health environments and retail space.
About MD Architects
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